On earth, they cannot speak. After earth, when we stand in judgment before God, they will be called to testify. Every dog and cat and hamster will be called to speak for us. Were we faithful? Were we kind? Did we cause harm, and how much malice did we give with it?
The dogs will say that they love us, because dogs are lovers. The cats will fear and respect us, because they are cats. The hamsters will wonder about the giant creature peering in, holding their tiny selves so gently in their palm. The birds will sing about how we sang to them.
Oh, be kind to these creatures that cannot speak in life. Be true to them. For in the next world, our stewardship will be measured. Our service to the world will be held to account. And, judgment will be passed upon us not by the whims of mortal glory or the trappings of social worth, but by the least of us – our mute, dependent animals – who will tell the truth of our behaviour and our service to the life of the world.